Daimler executive Grube to take helm at Deutsche Bahn

Daimler executive Grube to take helm at Deutsche Bahn Essen - Ruediger Grube, a top executive at car company Daimler, was nominated Saturday as the new head of German state-owned railway company Deutsche Bahn. The 57-year-old Grube replaces Hartmut Mehdorn, who quit last month after Deutsche Bahn had admitted to illicit surveillance of its employees.

"I look forward to the new task," Grube said after a special meeting convened by Deutsche Bahn's management on Saturday. He is to take over the role on May 1.

German store chain Hertie moves into new insolvency phase

German-FlagEssen, Germany - Hertie, a German department-store chain,

Light switches get a makeover after years in the design doldrums

Light switches get a makeover after years in the design doldrumsEssen, Germany - No room, no apartment or house can get by without light switches and although everyone needs them and uses them, these inconspicuous devices have been reduced to their simplest function for decades.

Now designers and manufacturers are discovering that all kinds of living spaces can be perked up by replacing the self-effacing rectangular plates of cream or white plastic with something more decorative.

RWE signs up to nuclear-reactor project in Romania

Berlin, GermanyEssen, Germany - One of Germany's two main electricity companies, RWE, said it signed up Thursday for a project to build two nuclear power reactors in Romania.

RWE is legally required to shut down its nuclear plants inside Germany over the next 15 years as Germany abandons atomic power, but the company has been advocating a return to nuclear power.

It initialled Thursday the investment terms for two new reactors at Cernavoda Power Station in Romania, RWE said at its main office in Essen, Germany.

German bank to take key stake in Arcandor group

Sal. OppenheimEssen, Germany - Sal. Oppenheim, a German bank, said Monday it would acquire a key stake in German retailing and travel group Arcandor, which has struggled for weeks with a credit crunch.

Essen-based Arcandor runs Germany's chain of Karstadt department stores and the Quelle mail-order business and has a controlling stake in the travel group Thomas Cook.

Cologne-based Oppenheim said it would ultimately acquire as much as 29.5 per cent of Arcandor.

Mass-transit train catches fire in Germany

Germany disappointed at WTO breakdownEssen, Germany - A mass-transit train caught fire in Germany on Friday and its driver was injured by toxic smoke, fire crews said.

Four train staff in the western city of Essen ushered all the passengers to safety in the open air.

The driver applied the emergency brake just as the train was leaving Kaiser Wilhelm Park underground station in the city.